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Mayor's Office

2008 Media Releases

April 25, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Deb Weber, Lincoln Arts Council, 434-2787


Mayor Chris Beutler has announced the winners of the 30th annual Mayor’s Arts Awards to be presented the evening of Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The event is produced by the Lincoln Arts Council (LAC), and the presenting sponsor is Union Bank. The awards program formally recognizes artistic contributions and achievements in the Lincoln area. This year’s awards have been created by jeweler Sydney Lynch, a 2007 Mayor’s Arts Award recipient.

The event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. The awards will begin at 7 p.m. and will include a video presentation supervised by Ted Lange of Los Angeles, best known for his role as Isaac on “The Love Boat.” The award winning actor, playwright and director has performed with the Nebraska Repertory Theatre. Tickets for the event are $50, and reservations are required. Checks can be sent to LAC at 920 “O” Street, Lincoln, NE 68508. More information is available by calling 434-ARTS (2787) or on the LAC Web site at

The honorees:

  • El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at Sheldon, a traditional festival celebrating the continuity of life, will receive the Mayor’s Choice Award. (Sponsored by Cline, Williams, Wright, Johnson & Oldfather, L.L.P.)
  • The Nebraska Repertory Theatre, which celebrates is 40th season this summer, will receive the Arts Organization Award. (Sponsored by Runza.)
  • Roger Bruhn, a photographer whose work is part of the collections of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, the Joslyn Art Museum and the Museum of Nebraska Art, will receive the Artistic Achievement Award for Visual Arts. (Sponsored by Slumberland Furniture.)
  • The judges selected two recipients of the Artistic Achievement Award for Youth. Angel M. Geller is a Southwest High student who mixes her artwork with advocacy. She plans to study photography in college. (Sponsored by Lucy Buntain Comine in memory of Anne Buntain.) Benito Sanchez is active in the performing arts at Lincoln High and was awarded an Annenberg Scholarship to study theatre at USC last summer. (Sponsored by Dr. Gene and Kristen Stohs - Women’s Health Care Center of Williamsburg Village.)
  • Becky Van de Bogart, founder of The Third Chair Chamber Players and principal piccolo player with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, will receive the Artistic Achievement Award for Performing Arts. (Sponsored by Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Nebraska.)
  • John Scofield, a band teacher in Lincoln schools and founder of the Steel Drum Band PANgea, will receive the Gladys Lux Education Award. (Endowed by the Gladys Lux Foundation.)
  • Douglas Campbell has served on the boards of many arts organizations, including the Nebraska Art Association, the Lux Center and MEDICI. He will receive the Heart of the Arts Award for outstanding volunteer service. (Sponsored by Talent Plus, Inc.)
  • Mike Seacrest has helped lead many arts organizations and many community projects, such as the recent renovation of the Sunken Gardens. She will receive the Halcyon Allsman Benefactor of the Arts Award for significant financial contributions to the arts in Lincoln. (Sponsored by TierOne Bank.)
  • The Train was a theatrical collaboration set during the Holocaust and created by the Angels Theatre Company, The Third Chair Chamber Players and the Lied Center. It will receive the Outstanding Event Award. (Sponsored by Lincoln Benefit Life.)
  • Paul A. Olson, Professor Emeritus of English at UNL and founder of the Center for Great Plains Studies, will receive the Literary Heritage Award. (Sponsored by the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association.)
  • The Sawmill Building at 8th and “S” streets, a warehouse conversion project of developer WRK LLC, will receive the Larry Enersen Urban Design Award. (Sponsored by The Clark Enersen Partners.)
  • James M. Cook has helped to enhance art activities and experiences for children at the Sheldon Museum of Art, Clinton Elementary and the Lux Arts Center. He will receive the Oliva Family “Arts for Kids” Award, which honors an individual or organization from outside of the arts professions whose leadership has enhanced arts activities and experiences for children. (Sponsored by Giacomo and Dorothy Oliva.)

This year’s award judges were Nancy Engin-Wedin, Mike Hillis, Karen Janovy, Danny Ladely, Rhonda Lake, Matt Landis and Pam Thompson. Betsy Kosier facilitated the judging. The judges selected the award winners in every category except Mayor’s Choice, Literary Heritage and Urban Design.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony also will include a tribute to those members of the Lincoln arts community who have died since the last awards ceremony in June 2007. Names may be submitted to LAC.

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